Jean Binta Breeze
Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze was born in Jamaica and came to England in the 1980s. An internationally renowned poet and playwright, she has also worked also as a theatre director, choreographer, actor and teacher.
She has performed her work around the world, in the Caribbean, North America, Europe, South-East Asia and Africa and been called “one of the most important, influential performance poets of recent years” (British Council, Literature).
Jean writes in many forms and is highly acclaimed for her artistry with the Jamaican ‘Dub’ artform. She is the author of six books; the latest Third World Girl was published in the UK in 2011, followed by a national tour.
Her first book of poetry, Ryddim Ravings, was published in 1988; she went on to write the screenplay for Hallelujah Anyhow, a co-production of the British Film Institute and BBC 2. She has recorded with Dennis Bovell’s Dub Band.
She has been the recipient of a National Endowment of Science and the Arts (NESTA) Award for her poetry and in 2011, she became an Honorary Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester. She was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2012.
What have people said about Jean Binta Breeze?
‘For stature, Jean Binta Breeze invites a Caribbean comparison with Maya Angelou, except that her range is broader still. Her poetry shifts effortlessly through standard English to a native Jamaican which has no equal in its emotional depth.’
Alexander Linklater, The Herald
‘Breeze sings of sisterhood and the private spirituality that keeps the head above water even when prejudice, and laundry, threaten to drag it down. Her work and that of a great many other black women writers, affirms life in a way that the rest of the world might do well to emulate.’
Tania Glyde, The Independent